necropolis

noun
ne·​crop·​o·​lis | \ nə-ˈkrä-pə-ləs , ne-\
plural necropolises or necropoles\ nə-​ˈkrä-​pə-​ˌlēz , ne-​ \ or necropoleis\ nə-​ˈkrä-​pə-​ˌlās , ne-​ \ or necropoli\ nə-​ˈkrä-​pə-​ˌlī , -​ˌlē , ne-​ \

Definition of necropolis

: cemetery especially : a large elaborate cemetery of an ancient city

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Did You Know?

With its -polis ending, meaning "city", a necropolis is a "city of the dead". Most of the famous necropolises of Egypt line the Nile River across from their cities. In ancient Greece and Rome, a necropolis would often line the road leading out of a city; in the 1940s a great Roman necropolis was discovered under the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica. Some more recent cemeteries especially deserve the name necropolis because they resemble cities of aboveground tombs, a necessity in low-lying areas such as New Orleans where a high water table prevents underground burial.

Examples of necropolis in a Sentence

Archaeologists uncovered a necropolis of ancient Rome. an ancient necropolis that has given archaeologists valuable insights into how people once lived and died

Recent Examples on the Web

The show took place in a Roman necropolis in southern France, accompanied by smoke and candles and a dramatic 17th century musical composition sung in Latin. Harper's BAZAAR, "The Modern Woman Is Embracing Her Inner Witch," 12 Nov. 2018 Memphis was the first capital of ancient Egypt and its large necropolis houses a wide range of temples and tombs as well as the three pyramids of Giza. Fox News, "Archaeologists in Egypt discover ancient mummification workshop," 2 Oct. 2018 In 2017, the ministry found a necropolis holding at least 17 mummies in the area of Tuna al-Gabal. Washington Post, "Archaeologists find ancient necropolis in Egypt," 24 Feb. 2018 Trouche has been researching the 18th-century fashion parades during which the city’s local fashion plates would walk up and down the Alyscamps, an ancient Roman necropolis lined with funerary stones and monuments, flaunting their latest finery. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "A Brief History of the Arlesienne Fashion Plates Who Inspired Alessandro Michele’s Cruise Collection," 8 June 2018 Gucci designer Alessandro Michele chose The Alyscamps, the ruins of a Roman necropolis, as his stage. Washington Post, "Death and glitter: Gucci hosts France show in Roman ruins," 2 June 2018 Archaeologists in Sudan have uncovered a large cache of rare stone inscriptions at the Sedeinga necropolis along the Nile River. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Large Cache of Texts May Offer Insight Into One of Africa’s Oldest Written Languages," 13 Apr. 2018 The 114 looks consisted of velvet dresses, capes, and crosses, harking to the Catholic dignitaries that are said to be buried in the necropolis. Mara Balagtas, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Gucci Chose a UNESCO World Heritage Site for Its 2019 Cruise Collection Show," 31 May 2018 Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities announced Saturday the discovery of a necropolis near the city of Minya, south of Cairo in an area known to house ancient catacombs. Charlene Gubash, NBC News, "Archaeologists discover burial ground for Egyptian high priests," 24 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'necropolis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of necropolis

1819, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for necropolis

borrowed from Late Latin, "cemetery," borrowed from Greek Nekrópolis, literally, "city of the dead," name of a large cemetery in a suburb of ancient Alexandria, from nekro- necro- + -polis -polis

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for necropolis

The first known use of necropolis was in 1819

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More Definitions for necropolis

necropolis

noun

English Language Learners Definition of necropolis

formal : a large cemetery especially of an ancient city

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More from Merriam-Webster on necropolis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with necropolis

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for necropolis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about necropolis

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